Game 2009.088: Tigers at Yankees

PREGAME: Jim Leyland has complained that the Tigers never get the extra day off at the All Star break. This year they got it. I hope it was good for the players because for the fans it stunk. Too long without baseball for my tastes. The “second half” finally begins tonight as the Tigers get their first taste of the homer-happy new Yankee Stadium.

Luke French gets the honor of kicking off this portion of the season. It’s an interesting choice with a full rotation at his disposal, but my guess is that Leyland wanted French out there on a night when the pen was rested, and the fact the Yankees haven’t seen him may have been a consideration as well.

French will be taking on AJ Burnett. The Tigers have had some success against Burnett, or at least they haven’t been completely shut down by him in the past. Burnett’s one weakness this year has been a tendency to walk too many and he’s walking about a batter every other inning. Burnett has a reverse platoon split this year with a 787 OPS allowed against righties and only 690 against lefties.

Random Factoid of the night: Hitters have a 932 OPS against Burnett when putting the first ball in play.

Detroit vs. NY Yankees – July 17, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: And Zumaya blows another one. One horrid inning destroys what otherwise was a mostly impressive game from the rest of the squad.

Luke French wasn’t great, but he hung in against a tough lineup and tossed 5 solid innings, and he even did it with some shaky defense behind him. Clete Thomas was charged with a tough error on a nice one hop throw to Gerald Laird that Laird couldn’t handle, so Thomas is off the hook. But Josh Anderson’s 5 hole error, the second one he’s had against the Yankees this year) resulted in an unearned run.

The top of the order was quite productive with the top 4 all getting 2 hits and Clete Thomas getting 2 walks. However a rough game for Inge (0 for 4 with 2 K’s) meant that not enough of them came around to score. In Inge’s defense though, he did hit a liner to Robinson Cano at 2nd with 2 on in the first. An out, but not because it was a bad at-bat.

Granderson looked like the Grandy of old reaching base 3 times with 2 extra base hits.

67 thoughts on “Game 2009.088: Tigers at Yankees”

    1. Even worse, tomorrow it’s a 1:05 start, which means no Package coverage. They really just need to do away with and games Pre-Fox on Saturdays, it’s brutal.

  1. Random factoid part two: Burnett hasn’t walked any batter who has put the first pitch in play.

  2. Wow good throw by Anderson but really good tag by Laird. Inge came close to getting his glove on that one–and if he had everyone would have been safe. The breaks have been going in our favor so far…

  3. Coleman – looked to me like inge almost getting it also caused posada to hold up, giving anderson more time…

    1. I disagree….. Jimbo is clueless about Zumaya or he wouldn’t use him like this time after time after time.

    1. Wow, I just suggested to my friend that he was the new Grilli. I guess Zoom-Zoom decided that someone need to pick up the torch of player the fans abhor. I’d like to introduce Zoom-Zoom to his illustrious company: Jason Grilli, Edgar “The Ham Sandwich” Renteria and Neifi Perez.

        1. I don’t think Zumaya needs Amphetamines.

          I mean if you think giving him a boatload of caffeine like substances would help him, by all means.

      1. Doesn’t matter the inning. If you come in with the potential tying run scheduled to appear it is a save situation. You only get the save though if you finish the game.

  4. With all the jobs being lost in MI in blows my mind that Miner-Rodney and Zumaya are still employed

    1. Despite all the roller coasterness, Rodney is putting up decent to good numbers this year. Miner is a starter hiding in the pen. Got nothing for Zumaya.

  5. Really Zumaya?

    Seriously though, who didn’t see this coming?
    Right-handed power pitcher vs. Left-handed power hitter in Yankee Stadium (a left-handed hitters dream park)

  6. Zumaya’s fastballs are all 97 98 99 mph. As odd as it is to say, there seems something wrong when he doesn’t hit 100 all night.

    We could have used Betancourt in that situation. By the time he got around to pitching it might have rained enough to call the game.

  7. Zumaya is waaay too inconsistent to stay in the bigs!!
    One day he’s lights-out (ie. Minnesota)
    The next, he’s aweful!!!
    I don’t get it!

    1. I think Leyland has recognized that Zumaya isn’t the principal 8th inning set-up guy. I believe Lyon has got that job.

      1. What about this year? He’s been freaking good at times too. You only run your annoying mouth every time he screws up.

        1. lets see he has lost the lead in 7 games so far this year ..luckily the Tigers came back and won two of those…isn’t that annoying enough for you…It is for the rest of us. Considering he only has to get three guys out

        2. It’s true, Adam, he’s been very good at times. Zumaya is a tremedous talent. But he’s just been too inconsistant this year. It’s a crap shoot everytime he hits the hill. That’s no way to use his arm, imo.

  8. Hey Anson, don’t forget Dontrelle “I’m-Afraid-to-Throw-a-Strike” Willis in that illustrious company!!

    1. Apologies, I had managed to delete the memory of the 8 walk in 1.1 innings affair that I wasted my money to see in person.

  9. Zumaya = just in time for this official game to swing to the Yankees. I can’t see the tarp not coming out after this inning.

    Zumaya is definately the weak link in this bullpen. If the hitter can make contact on the ball he’s going to knock the cover off the ball. You can’t just hurl it down the center of the plate and expect a team like the Yankees not to mash the ball. He needs to work on his control. That’s the main issue right now. Until he finds it, we’re going to continue to see innings like this.

    Ah, not so good for a contending team….

      1. I have no idea if Zumaya has options left. I have to assume he does. It’s actually not a bad idea. Zumaya is absolutely useless to the team if he can’t find control. Right now he’s struggling big time. Tonight is not an isolated outing. I would send him down and have him work on his control, al a Clete Thomas, and then recall him after a couple weeks or so if he can work it out without giving up a gazillion runs in the process that hurt the team. You just can’t condone meltdowns like this and expect to win the division. Sorry. No hard feelings. We’ll see you when/if you can paint the corner with that low heat, sport.

  10. ok everybody……here’s the chant: ZUMAYA SUCKS! I had high hopes for him 3 yrs ago….but not anymore. Tigers’ ‘pen messes up a game again; I’m sick of it. Luke French pitched pretty damn well for a rook…I got no complaints. He even held it together pretty well after the 2 errors in one inning. Crap! I HATE losing to the Yankees…… 🙁

  11. I also just want to say, Mark Teixeira hits a lot of home runs, no matter who is pitching. The right move would have been to walk him in that situation, but that wouldn’t have changed anything since there were still two hits after that.

    But 5 hits and a walk is just about the worst you can do in an inning. (Still, giving up only 3 runs on 5 hits and a walk is is pretty impressive.)

  12. I guess the home plate ump wants to get out of the rain ASAP — that called strike three on Santiago was way off the plate.

  13. This game will get started again. I hope Zumaya gets sent down before it does, though, assuming he has an option left.

  14. Well Zumaya was just brutal tonight when you face a team like the Yankees, who I think lead the AL in walks, and you struggle to throw strikes it is just not going to go well. His pitch to Teixeira was a joke right down the middle. Bottom line so far is both teams have had lots of chances we just could not put together a big inning and eventually the Yankees did.

    1. Half the problem is getting behind on batters. Zumaya is infamous for this. Without any control, it’s gonna happen. Then you give a hitter like Teixeira a predictable 3-1 fast ball, aka a Zumaya meat ball special, and surprise, surprise! Yankees up by 2.

      There have been times when Zumaya has shown some control, but it’s few and far inbetween. He needs to take 75-S and work it out.

      French and Ni were ahead of batters all night long.

  15. They need to send him to Toledo to prove a point about not wanting to crap out in the 2nd half like the last 3 years. This is not a good way to start.

    1. Agreed, 100%. But knowing the Tigers, they’ll just put him on the 15 day DL instead. Sorry. Wrong message. He should go to Toledo for 15 days — or however long it takes to gain some composure and poise.

  16. One thing I have to offer, I live outside New York and follow the Yankees, in a hatred kind of way. They never do well against pitchers they haven’t seen, so Leyland should have considered another inning from Ni, you’d rather have Teixeira batting righty with the short porch, and all.

    Of course, this just means Zumaya melts down in the 8th.

    1. Good points. I would have done it like this:

      Squeeze one more inning out of French
      Use a combination of Ni/Lyon 7th/8th
      And hope Rodney doesn’t melt down in the 9th.

      But look, a bloop, bad break, and a single or two and, hey, the bullpen blows it in a close fought game. It’s going to happen. You move on. But that’s not what happened here. What happened here in the 7th was a complete meltdown.

      1. Not sure about another inning from French. Jeter, Damon, etc. … one more time through? It’s not like French was making bats miss or inducing ground balls. Who knows, though. At least we agree Zumaya in the seventh has bad news written all over it.

  17. Is there any chance that a team like Toronto could possibly be convinced that Zumaya has great potential and possibly package him up for a bat or in a package for Halladay? Zumaya has talent, of that there is little doubt. The question is will he ever be able to harness it? Perhaps someone who is desperate for a closer would like to take a chance on JZ. He seems like one of the few attractive tradeable commodities that we have that another team might be interested in. No one is going to be interested in Maggs or Guillen. I think there has to be at least one team out there that thinks their pitching coach could turn Zumaya into a star. He’s still young, has a manageable salary, and does have the talent (consistently throwing over 100mph is talent). I have grown weary of his act in Detroit, but I’ll bet that there is a GM out there who’d take a chance on Zumaya. I wonder if Baltimore would have any interest in giving up say………..Luke Scott for JZ. Its a win-win for us. We get a bonafide Tiger killer on our roster, we get a left-handed bat with power, and we no longer have to pull our hair out every time JZ comes strutting in from the bullpen. Sounds good, probably too good to be true. (I am serious about Zumaya having as much trade value as anyone on our roster outside of Verlander, Porcello, and Jackson). Lyon could serve as the eighth inning guy the rest of the way. Its risky, but its hard to imagine Lyon being any worse than Zumaya at this point of the season.

  18. After the game, Zumaya said he’ll head to Detroit this morning for an MRI test.

    in the late night Free Press…This Article
    ….is the MRI on his arm or his head????

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